Ministers have announced that teenage depression sufferers will be asked to use their mobile phones to fight the condition.
They are asking for young people to be given access to mental health treatment online via mobile device apps. The tools they could gain access to will include counselling, peer support and cognitive behavioural therapy, according to the care minister, Norman Lamb.
He said a taskforce is assessing the modernisation of young people and children’s mental health and the apps will be one of the main elements. He said teenage worlds revolve around digital access and access to therapy should be made available online.
He wants to offer an easy, user-friendly service which will allow online access, telephone access or face to face to face access, whichever is most appropriate.
He added that the platforms are evidence-based, which makes the risk of inappropriateness low. Since some people may require more than that, a gradation of different service types should be offered.
Campaigners have warned that this new technology should not replace face-to-face treatment.
The director of campaigns at Young Minds, Lucie Russell, said a host of different responses to struggling young people is required. She said one should not do anything which states that it is unnecessary to visit your GP as this is a real risk. She added that those suffering with mental health problems are often desperate and need medication.
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